GOSHEN – The Orange County Partnership will embark on a digital mining expedition later this month.

The partnership wants executives throughout the New York metro area and parts of Pennsylvania to think of Orange County first when plans are set in motion to build a new plant. The digital approach, called behavioral marketing, monitors websites visited by the targeted executives. It has the potential of placing the partnership’s ads on hundreds of websites.

Ordinary consumers can relate: They go online to research a product, say vacuum cleaners, and ads for the machines start appearing on their home pages.

A previous print campaign put inserts touting Orange County into about 50,000 copies of the Wall Street Journal. Cable TV ads were also run in the New York City, Long Island, Northern New Jersey and Connecticut areas.

Maureen Halahan, CEO of the partnership, said there was a good result with the print campaign. About 26 company representatives visited the county because of the first ads in 2012, with an automotive repair school locating its business in Harriman.

“And some of the others have since referred other companies here,” Halahan said. “They’ve become part of our extended family.”

She also felt, though, that the approach left too much to chance. A targeted executive might miss the newspaper with the insert.

Research, campaign strategy and web-page construction for the digital marketing was provided by AJ Ross Creative Media Inc. of Chester.

“Instead of being in just one publication, we’re following them across multiple publications, multiple websites,” said Carlos Vega, creative director at AJ Ross. “It has stronger, more targeted results. … It’s targeting a very specific audience.”

Ads lead to a partnership page on which users can learn about the location and size of available buildings, sites ready for construction, workforce statistics and major companies already in Orange County. Social media is also being used. Facebook guarantees 5,000 clicks to the partnership’s page.

The Orange County Industrial Development Agency is paying about $42,000 for it. The money comes from the fees of companies applying for IDA tax breaks.

Laurie Villasuso, the IDA’s chief operating officer, saw the new approach as a natural progression.

“It’s the result of a changing media,” she said. “The trend is moving away from the paper to digital."

jwalsh@th-record.com